ECU students led a panel discussion on leadership hosted by The Women's Roundtable at ECU April 16. Pictured above, ECU Kenya Shakir, left, and Meghan Pergola share their views with the audience. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The Women’s Roundtable hosts student panel on leadership

April 17, 2015

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

An East Carolina University committee formed to create a legacy of women leaders says the accomplishments and ambitions of current students are helping fulfill the university’s mission.

On April 16, The Women’s Roundtable at ECU hosted a panel with students Mona Amin, Kaylan Galloway, Eliza Monroe, Meghan Pergola and Kenya Shakir who talked about their leadership experiences, dreams and challenges. Moderator was Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor of student affairs.
ECU student Mona Amin shares her views on leadership during the panel presentation hosted by The Women's Roundtable.

“It makes me so proud to see the next generation coming along and how dedicated they are to public service and leadership,” said Gail Herring (BS ’79), chair of The Women’s Roundtable at ECU. “Our university has set a goal around public service and leadership and you see it here. They’re living it and breathing it. They’re visible examples of our story.”

Hardy asked the students to comment on a series of questions ranging from “if you were chancellor” to traits of leaders and who inspires them.

Pergola, a junior public health major from Cary, is a member of the Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy. She would like to see the academy implemented on a larger scale for more students. “I would like for ECU students to learn more about ECU’s values and to uphold those values and use them more in their daily life,” she said.

Monroe, a junior urban and regional planning major from Raleigh, said inspiring and empowering positive change as opposed to only delegating duties is important for leaders. “They should try to pull up and inspire others as they climb,” she said.

Other traits that the students have observed in leaders are hard work, the ability to listen, authenticity, being able to step out of their comfort zone and serving the community.

“We’re a service university,” said Shakir, a senior sociology major. “I really believe we all have a moral responsibility to serve our community.”

Each of the women spoke about challenges they’ve faced, from experiencing burnout to having to work harder for good grades than they did in high school to changing their planned careers because of the opportunities presented to them as students. “This narrow path opens up,” Pergola said. “You have to find where your heart and head is.”

Past chair Valeria Lassiter (BA ’90) encouraged the students to “be open to everybody and everything. Your rewards, opportunity and advice may not come from what you’ve shaped in your head,” she said.

For more information on The Women’s Roundtable, visit http://www.ecu.edu/mktg/womensroundtable/.

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Virginia Hardy, a member of The Women's Roundtable, moderated the student panel discussion.